We are halfway into 2016, so which is the best tablet of the year? The top contenders are iPad Pro, Microsoft Surface, Samsung Galaxy Tab and Google Pixel C.
Consumers are still buying tablets, despite the sales slowdown. The market is now full of hybrids like the Microsoft Surface and iPad Pro that offer a detachable keyboard.
Here's a top-five list of the best tablets out there, with one overall winner.
iPad Pro 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch: Apple is still the market leader when it comes to tablet based on build quality, design, and the widely-supported iOS operating system. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro isn't cheap but it's the closest an iPad comes to replacing a laptop. Highlights include a mind-blowingly large 13-inch-class Retina display, speed that rivals the 12-inch MacBook, a four-speaker system, a good Apple Smart Keyboard as an option, and support for Apple Pencil. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 for a Wi-Fi-only version with 32GB of storage; the $169 Smart Keyboard is sold separately. The smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro starts at $599 and $149 Smart Keyboard is sold separately.
Microsoft Surface and Surface Book: Microsoft deserves credit for inventing he modern detachable. The Microsoft Type Cover keyboards are now the gold standard in detachable keyboards. And of course all Surface tablets run Windows 10. The Surface Pro 3 is still a good deal since it now starts at $599, while the Surface Pro 4's entry model is $849. The Surface Pro Type Cover keyboard starts at $129.99.
Surface Book is Microsoft's premier tablet and it is more or less stable now. Its innovative fulcrum hinge allows it to become a full-fledged laptop. Its price is a little higher at $1,499.
Google Pixel C: The Pixel C is the best Android tablet available in the market. The Pixel C has a fast Nvidia Tegra X1 processor, a very-high-resolution 10.2-inch display, an anodized aluminum frame that rivals the good looks of the iPad, and a nice keyboard option. The Pixel C starts at $499.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0: the Samsung Galaxy Tab A is a perfect balancing act between low-cost and decent quality device. It runs Android and the price is $199.99 for a 16GB model.